MACH- Track applications are now closed for 2020

MACH-Track is a structured, mentored and fully-funded career development program for exceptional research-minded doctors undertaking vocational training in accredited hospital specialties, or general practice.

The program seeks to develop the future leaders of clinical innovation by offering an opportunity to integrate pre-PhD, PhD and initial post-PhD research training with completion of vocational training of the highest standard.

Bespoke and tailored towards the research direction of each successful candidate, MACH-Track is flexibly designed to adapt to any specialist college-accredited discipline.

We are now through to the first round of interviews for shortlisted MACH-Track candidates for commencement in 2021.


Please refer to Associate Directors tab below to find our more about our Selection Panel.

To find out more about MACH-Track download our PDF Flyer

For MACH-Track enquiries please contact Senior Project Officer: 

MACH-Track Infographic.jpg

Program Structure

The program runs over 5 – 6 years beginning in 2021:

Year 1: Pre-PhD start year of the program – 80% clinical (vocational) training / 20% PhD preparation

Years 2 – 4: PhD scholarship (2022 – 2024) – 80% PhD / 20% clinical role

Year 5: Post-PhD: 80% clinical (vocational) training / 20% preparation for post-doctoral fellowship application

Years 6 and 6+: As for Year 5 to completion of clinical (vocational) training and, ideally, a post-doctoral fellowship.

Eligible Study Areas

Any Australian Medical Council accredited specialist medical college training program leading to fellowship of the specialist medical college. Specimen PhD Projects Available To give applicants a flavour of the range of PhD opportunities available for candidates to consider during Year 1 of MACH-Track, here is a selection of projects that will be on offer. There will be a “taster” Year 1 mini-project available for each substantive 3-year PhD project:

Centre for Eye Research Australia

  • Satellite imaging to transform detection of diabetic retinopathy and other retinal vascular diseases
  • Repair of the cornea to restore vision: Translation to a Surgical Repair Device
  • Neuronal responses to mitochondrial DNA haplogroups.

Department of General Practice

  • Utilising technology to optimise the management of heart failure in primary care
  • The clinical utility of pharmacogenomic testing to inform antidepressant prescribing in primary care.

Florey Institute

  • Investigating the Role of Epigenetics in Multiple Sclerosis
  • Developing novel therapies to harness the progression of Multiple Sclerosis.

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

  • Understanding disease mechanisms and outcomes in Australian children with acute stroke using sophisticated blood and neuroimaging biomarkers
  • Taking placenta to scale: The population burden of disordered placentation and placental function
  • Early life inflammation in non-communicable childhood disease.

National Ageing Research Institute

  • A tool for predicting prolonged grief in family carers of people living with dementia
  • Identifying elder abuse in medical settings
  • Enhancing 3D (dementia, delirium, depression) care for older people in residential care via micro-learning.

Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute

  • Strategies to enhance the efficacy of targeted therapies in gastrointestinal cancers
  • a) Improving tyrosine kinase inhibitors-based therapies for metastatic Her2+ breast cancer
    b) Investigating the contribution of matrix/integrin signalling in breast cancer metastasis and therapy resistance
  • a) Deploying novel technologies to identify resistance mechanisms in patients with haematological malignancies receiving targeted therapies
    b) Identifying new strategies for minimum residual disease monitoring to optimise response assessment in myeloid & lymphoid malignancies.

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

  • Understanding the behaviour of cancer at single cell resolution
  • Improving management of infections in cancer
  • Clinical investigation of the immune response to radiotherapy and immunotherapy.

Walter & Eliza Hall Institute

  • Translational research into haematological malignancies
  • Utilising pre-clinical models to discover novel therapies for tuberculosis
  • Hyposplenism in coeliac disease.

For more information about these specialisations, contact Senior Project Officer– Meredith Bickley


  • The MACH-Track pathway is open to doctors training in any recognised medical specialty, including General Practice. Applicants should have won a place in a Melbourne-centred vocational training program approved by the relevant Royal/Specialist College; for specialties with two-stage programs (eg physicians) trainees should have secured a place in an advanced training program.
  • Applicants must be currently in post in one of the ten MACH-affiliated health services, or be on a training rotation that will bring the candidate to a MACH-affiliated health service by February 2022. General Practice trainees will require sponsorship by the University of Melbourne Department of General Practice.

Selection Process

The selection committee will base its assessment on the application form, applicant career aspiration, CV and referee reports.

Applications should be sent by 5PM Wednesday 12 August 2020 [deadline extended] to and must include:

  1. A letter of application no longer than 500 words explaining why the applicant wants to pursue PhD training through the MACH-Track, to include broad areas of research interest;
  2. Brief details of the candidate’s vocational training program, with dates and location of each attachment; proposed end date; and details of the relevant College training committee including email contact for the lead College administrator;
  3. Full CV, to include details of any research experience and how findings were reported or disseminated (e.g. abstract presentation at meeting);
  4. A brief letter of support from an academic referee able to comment on the candidate’s potential for completing a PhD;
  5. A brief letter from the candidate’s current clinical training supervisor confirming that the candidate is making satisfactory progress in vocational training and stating support for the candidate seeking flexibility in clinical training, if appointed.

    For General Practice trainees, a brief note from A/Prof Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis confirming sponsorship by the University of Melbourne Department of General Practice.

Candidates short-listed for interview will be informed by 29th August 2020.

Short-listed trainees in hospital specialties will be required to provide by 27th September 2020 a brief letter of support signed by the CEO of the MACH-affiliated health service in which they would spend Year 1 of the Track confirming that they will be provided with an average of 8 hours per week research flexibility with no loss of earnings; a template will be provided.

Interviews will be held in the first two weeks of October 2020 ahead of a February 2021 start (the start date can be deferred to February 2022 to suit individuals.


MACH-Track scholarships will be awarded to five candidates.

Important Dates

12 August 2020 : Applications close at 5 PM (AEST) [deadline extended]

29 August 2020: Invitations sent out to short-listed candidates for interviews

27 September 2020: Short-listed trainees in hospital specialties are required to provide a brief letter of support signed by the CEO of the MACH-affiliated health service (template will be provided)

1 October – 14th October 2020 : Interviews are conducted

February 2021/February 2022 : Successful applicants to start their MACH-Track journey

Associate Directors

MACH-Track Associate Directors

The MACH-Track selection panel will consist of:

A/Prof Margie Danchin

Group Leader, Vaccine Uptake, Murdoch Children's Research Institute; Paediatrician, Department of General Medicine,The Royal Children's Hospital; A/Prof and David Bickart Clinician Scientist Fellow, Department of Paediatrics and School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne; Director Clinician Scientist pathways, The University of Melbourne Chair, Collaboration on Social Science and Immunisation (COSSI).

Professor Mark Dawson

Associate Director for Research Translation; Consultant Haematologist; Program Head, Cancer Biology & Therapeutics; Head, Cancer Epigenetics Laboratory, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

Professor Kate Drummond AM

Neurosurgeon; Director of Neurosurgery, RMH; Head of Central Nervous System Tumours, VCCC, Parkville Precinct.

Prof Hui K. Gan
Director, Cancer Clinical Trials Unit, Austin Health; Clinical Research Lead and Co-Director, Centre for Research Excellence in Brain Cancer Research, Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute.

A/Prof Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis
Academic General Practitioner and Lead, Data Driven Quality Improvement Research Theme, Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne; Chair, RACGP Expert Committee - Research.


MACH is an NHMRC recognised Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre.

The mission of MACH is to improve health and wellbeing by integrating medical research, education and clinical care.


187 Grattan Street

Carlton, VIC 3053


+61 (0)3 9035 4960


MACH acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which it works, the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nation, and pay respects to its elders past, present and emerging.

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